I had never been pregnant before. I was 17, weeks from graduating high school, and I had my entire future ahead of me. I could not believe that this was happening to me. All I could think of was that I needed money for an abortion. I didn’t even want to think about what that would entail, but I could not see any other way. The relationship between my boyfriend and I was unraveling, only adding to the tension. I wanted it all over. I wanted to find a clinic.
A few days went by and the more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that I needed to think about the life growing inside of me. I still am not sure exactly how I formulated that thought. I did have the presence of mind when I first started having sex three months earlier, to recognize that if I was having sex, I needed to be prepared to be a parent. I knew that no matter what precautions you take to prevent pregnancy, nothing is 100%. I also knew I was not ready to be a parent, but that adoption could be a good choice for my baby and me. I waited to really explore placement until I broke the news to my parents.
Although disappointed at some of the choices I had been making in my life, my parents were very supportive of my decision to choose adoption. They even recommended a childless couple that we had known for many years. My mom had always told me about the Chandler’s* situation and that if I ever knew of anyone in high school with an unplanned pregnancy that I could let them know about the family.
It’s been some years now, and my daughter is growing up. She’s beautiful, talented, and brilliant. The Chandler’s named her middle name after me and honored me with regular visits and updates. It’s not perfect, but I am so glad I had the opportunity to give her life. This isn’t about politics or anything, she’s just happy to be here and has told me so. This year she called me to wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. Yeah, sometimes it’s bittersweet, but sometimes it’s just plain sweet.
This isn’t an easy decision. There are difficult times, but I am so glad I explored the option of adoption so we both could have a chance at a better future.
-Jennifer* , Santa Monica, CA
*Names have been changed